Well, June is almost over, and that means that Pagan Values Month is nearly at an end as well. Of course, this doesn't mean that we're all going to go crazy on you, but I think it does unfortunately imply that a lot of people are going to start glossing over the similarities of our collective values and morals again. I think that PVM has made a huge impact on the outer world, and has helped us gather ourselves together to show that while we all believe something slightly (or incredibly) different, in the end we all feel that there are many supposedly Christian-only moral issues that we established on our own, without the influence of any other religion (or maybe any religion at all).
The fact of the matter is, we're human. Intrinsically, we want to follow certain rules. We're hardwired to make our species continue, which means that we're meant to feel bad when we kill. That death was the end of another human life. 99.9% of the human race doesn't need any deity or religious path to realize as much. We are simply meant to feel bad or guilty about some things - and while some may argue it's the voice of the Christian god speaking up to show us right from wrong, let's face it, it's our conscious and it's an important part of ourselves and who we are. People of all religions have one, it's a uniquely human trait, and that's something we should take pride in.
So what have I personally learned from PVM? A lot of things. I've learned that I will never stop learning about this path, that what I think is perfect and right one day might be completely off kilter for me the next. I've learned that many Pagans from all walks of life and chosen paths feel differently about a number of issues, but that at our cores we all have a similar respect for life and property that is not unique to only members of other more "mainstream" religions. I have learned that there are just as many of our ilk who are able to be hateful and spout some horrific things as there are Christians who do the same, and that there are a number of kind, open-armed Christians who truly do respect their Pagan kin. I've learned that the bad always finds a way to speak more loudly than the good, but that if you're willing to look deep enough, the good shines so brightly you'll wonder how on earth you missed it. I've learned that I have a direction to walk, but that the path isn't very defined, and that learning to recognize how this path looks to me is something that only I can do, but that I can also ask for help and direction along the way without needing to feel as though I'm asking someone else to tell me what I believe.
I've learned that being Pagan means being myself, which is probably the best thing of all.
Tomorrow, a special announcement and a challenge - think you're up for it?